Building a Superbowl Champion using the NFC East: Offense Edition
The NFL is full of stories of teams, players and coaches overcoming adversity to achieve the ultimate goal; a Super Bowl ring.
Some stories have become slightly nauseating, like Kurt Warner going from bagging groceries to taking an incredibly talented Rams team to the confetti showers.
Others have stood the test of time like the Joe Montana drive, complete with John Candy sighting.
The Antithesis of this stories are the heartbreaking variety;
Scott Norwood's wide right, Kevin Dyson's stretch that came up a yard shy...
They speak of a team poised on the precipace of greatness, only to be pushed out of the way to make room for someone else.
None of that would happen if I could pillage the toughest division in football, NFC Beast, for my offense, defense and special teams.
Taking who I think are the best players from the Cowboys, Eagles, Giants and Redskins here is my offense...
QB: Donovan McNabb (Eagles)
Now before everyone calls me a homer, there's valid, sound reasoning behind this pick:
Out of the other 3 QBs in the division, McNabb has the strongest arm. He's the oldest but is still more mobile than Romo and Manning and makes better decisions while on the move than Jason Campbell.
If I were picking for the future I might take Campbell here, but McNabb is in his prime now and it's all about winning now.
Just look at the playoff records:
Tony Romo- Zero playoff wins
Jason Campbell- Zero playoff wins
Eli Manning- 4-3
Donovan McNabb 9-6
Yes, Eli has a ring, but he took a step back last year. This makes me wonder about his ability to consistently win. If he can string together back to back Pro Bowl like seasons, even if he's not invited to Hawaii, he'll be right there.
Romo hasn't had much chance to prove himself, but in crucial moments he has underperformed. He's has to get the playoff monkey off his back before I'll even consider him.
Running Back(s): Felix Jones (Cowboys) & Brian Westbrook (Eagles)
Felix Jones is an explosive runner; he is strong between the tackles quick to the corner.
Westbrook is an elusive back; he catches anything thrown his way and nearly impossible to tackle in space.
Between the two of them, the opposing defense would spend the majority of their day on the sidelines sucking oxygen.
The best thing about the two of them is that they compliment each other so well.
Jones is the pure runner who can catch. Westbrook is the pure receiver who can run. You can move them all around the formation until you get a favorable match up. It also means defenses cannot game plan to stop just one of them.
Fullback: Chris Cooley (Redskins)
Yeah I know he's listed as a tight end, but he'd be an even more impressive weapon as a fullback.
He has great hands, solid separation speed, and finishes his runs well. He doesn't shy away from contact and he would enjoy pancaking linebackers and defensive backs for a living. Plus as the safety option for the quarterback in most passing situations, he would likely make quite a few catches.
Tight End No. 1: Jason Witten (Cowboys)
Even though he made the above play against my beloved Eagles, I was impressed with not only Witten's toughness, but his desire.
Plenty of guys in the NFL can take a hit, but not many guys want it so bad that they're willing to run without a brain bucket. You can call it stupid, dangerous, insane, but I want a guy like that suiting up for my team.
Oh and lest I forget to mention that in his six-year career his season average is 71 receptions, 822 yards, and 4 TDs.
Tight End No.2: Brent Celek (Eagles)
Celek saved his best work for the playoffs last year with 19 grabs and 3 TDs during the postseason run. If he holds true to his promise to work more on his blocking, he'll shape up into a Pro Bowler in no time.
Celek is a young player on the rise.
Wide Reciver No. 1: Roy Williams (Cowboys)
I for one know that his lackluster performance last year was not due to a lack of talent.
He's a big, physical wideout who is capable of putting up big numbers with the right nucleus around him.
In 2006, he caught 82 balls for 1,310 yards. 24 of those receptions netting more than 20 yards. Changes in offensive scheme and QB have hurt him, but on this team he would excel.
Wide Receiver No. 2: Santana Moss (Redskins)
Moss has been a consistent big playmaker since becoming a starter in 2002 with the Jets.
The durable receiver has only missed 6 games since becoming an every-down receiver.
Despite age, he still has great speed and is able to get out of press coverage with ease.
Wide Receiver No. 3: Desean Jackson (Eagles)
Jackson is a great outside receiver, but in the slot in this lineup he would give Wes Welker a run for his money. With his great downfield speed he'd shred most teams' 3rd cornerback with ease.
Quick in and out of his cuts and a smooth route runner, Jackson just needs to work on his consistency catching the ball to take his game to the next level.
Offensive line: Giants
On paper the Eagles offensive line is very sound, but until the unit actually proves itself on the field you have to go with the proven commodity. The Giants line was responsible for the leagues No. 1 rush offense and gave up fewer than two sacks a game. Those numbers get even better with a more mobile QB and more elusive running backs to block for.
Offensive Scheme: Jason Garett (Cowboys)
Say what you want about the Cowboys, but their offense is designed to generate big plays. Offensive coordinator Jason Garett understands the quarterback position, but still comprehends the value of running the football. Had Felix Jones not gotten hurt last year , combined with the pressure to pass the ball, their rush numbers would have been much better than they were.